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Selective activation of C-H bonds by cascading photochemistry with biocatalysis
Zhang W, Burek BO, Fernandez-Fueyo E, Alcalde M, Bloh JZ, Hollmann F

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 56: 15451-15455

Selective oxyfunctionalisation of inert C-H bonds under mild conditions can be achieved using peroxygenases. This approach, however, is impaired by the poor robustness of these enzymes in the presence of hydrogen peroxide as the stoichiometric oxidant. Here, we demonstrate that inorganic photocatalysts such as gold-titanium dioxide efficiently provide H2O2 from methanol-driven reductive activation of ambient oxygen in suitable amounts to ensure high reactivity and robustness of the enzyme. Using this approach stereoselective hydroxylation of ethyl benzene to (R)-1-phenyl ethanol in high enantioselectivity (98% ee) and excellent turnover numbers of the biocatalyst (71.000) was achieved.

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